Five people, including Likud activist Moshe Feiglin, were arrested after a
confrontation on the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning during Feiglin’s monthly
trip to Judaism’s holiest site.
Toward the end of Feiglin’s visit, a
group of Muslims surrounded the Jewish worshipers and started yelling “Allahu
Akbar.” Police immediately responded to the incident and separated the two
Upon searching one of the Arabs, they discovered that he was
carrying a concealed knife, which is illegal on the Temple Mount. Police
arrested three Arabs for disturbing the peace, and one of them for also carrying
an illegal weapon.
Security forces also arrested Feiglin and another Jew
for praying, which is “in violation of the customs of the site,” according to
deputy police spokeswoman Shlomit Bajshi.
Praying out loud or using any
type of traditional prayer objects such as tefillin, tallitot, or prayer books
is forbidden for Jews at Judaism’s holiest site due to tensions with Muslims
worshipers at the Aksa Mosque.
National police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld
said Feiglin prostrated himself on the ground and began chanting, in violation
of the customs of the area.
Feiglin told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday
evening that he did not pray at all and that the charges against him were
The three Arab and one Jewish suspect were released on condition
they do not visit the Temple Mount for 15 days.
Feiglin refused to
acquiesce to the restraining order prohibiting him from visiting the Temple
Mount and was brought for a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s
The judge released him without any conditions.
ascends to the Temple Mount on the 19th of every Hebrew month. This month, the
19th falls on a Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, when the Temple Mount is
closed to non-Muslim visitors.
Feiglin went up to the Temple Mount on
Tuesday with a number of additional supporters, as is his usual
The confrontation did not require police to close the Temple
Mount to visitors, and the rest of the day proceeded without incident. Rosenfeld
said the security forces already have an increased presence in the Old City due
to the Succot holiday.
In February, police prevented Feiglin from
entering the Temple Mount after accusing him and other right-wing activists of
attempting to disrupt order.
A flyer aimed at members of the Likud
Central Committee urged thousands of supporters to join Feiglin at the Temple
“Purify the site from the enemies of Israel who stole the land,
and build the Third Temple on the ruins of the mosques,” the flyer
Insp.-Gen. Nisso Shaham, who was Jerusalem’s police chief at the
time, closed the Temple Mount to all non-Muslim visitors on February 12 as a
result of the announcement.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.